• The throat runs down the back of the mouth and nose to the top of the oesophagus (gullet or food pipe), and the opening into the larynx (voicebox).
  • The larynx lies between the throat and the trachea (windpipe). When you swallow, the larynx moves upwards and is closed by a ‘trapdoor’, the epiglottis. The vocal cords are also closed, completing the seal and stopping food and drink from ‘going down the wrong way’ and entering the lungs.
  • The vocal cords are paired bands of fibrous tissue that lie at the base of the larynx. When you talk, the vocal cords come together and tighten. Air is then forced between the cords to produce sounds that become words by movement of the tongue and lips. By altering the tension in the vocal cords, you can control the pitch of your voice – the greater the tension, the higher the pitch.
Anatomy of the Throat
  • In front of the larynx is the thyroid gland, which produces hormones that determine how quickly or slowly many body systems function.